Today’s Health Tip: How to Avoid Gum Disease

19 Oct

 

What Causes Gum Disease?

Anyone who has missed a day of brushing is familiar with that unpleasant sticky feeling on his or her teeth. That yellow paste like film is made up of bacteria. This bacteria survives off of the bits of food left over on teeth after meals and excrete waste products that are not so good for teeth or gums.

Eventually, if the bacteria aren’t removed with a thorough brushing, the gums will react to the toxins of the bacteria by becoming red and swollen. This is a defensive mechanism. The swollen appearance of the gums is caused by a diversion of blood carrying bacteria-fighting white blood cells to the gum tissue. However, the bacteria aren’t going down without a fight and weaken the gum tissue making it bleed easily.

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is easily treated with proper daily oral hygiene. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can progress into more serious gum disease. Risks associated with untreated gum disease include sensitive gums, bone loss, loose teeth and tooth extraction.

Preventing Gum Disease

The easiest way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing teeth at least twice a day and flossing. However, brushing and flossing won’t prevent anything if done wrong. Here are a few simple tips to avoid some common mistakes:

  • Brush slowly and take the time to do it right
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride
  • A small dot of toothpaste is all that is necessary
  • Use short circular motions
  • Focus on brushing the gums
  • Brush softly

Flossing should be done every day, and it doesn’t matter if it’s before or after brushing. However, most people are not as diligent with flossing as they should be, but a few times a week is still better than nothing. Depending upon personal preference, there are different types of floss including waxed, un-waxed, thin and tape as well as floss alternatives like picks, floss holders and interdental brushes. With so many options, there is no excuse for gum disease.

Author Bio:

Lucio works for RichardFossumDDS.com and is an expert on all Dental software.  When she is not blogging for fun or working she likes to spend her time playing sports and running with her dog.